Can’t live without you…

I was watching this Martha Stewart’s Youtube video on how to cook perfect eggs and I noticed how she ate all of them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Of course, here, we will usually eat them with soy sauce, not salt, and pepper…

…and come to think of it, soy sauce is an integral part in Asian cuisine, Chinese especially and some people simply can’t live without it – they will dip everything in soy sauce (with or without sliced fresh chili) and eat.

We do have a lot of dishes in Chinese cooking where soy sauce is used to stir fry or stew or braise the meat or whatever. The Thais use fish sauce mostly and the Koreans and the Japanese have their own versions of the soy sauce, their teriyaki sauce, for instance. Soy sauce may be used in cooking some Malay and Indonesian dishes but not as much – the latter even have their own kicap manis, the thick sweet soy sauce. I can’t think of soy sauce in any Indian dish – as far as I kn0w, they use a lot of spices and in western cuisines, they have the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce but I do not think they have soy sauce as we know it.

I remember we had some places making our own local soy sauce, black as well as light (chio cheng). You would see a whole lot of stone jars in the whole place, left to ferment in the sun. Most of them were covered but in some cases, the wooden lids might have slipped off, leaving the jars slightly open or maybe they did not on purpose, I wouldn’t know. People used to warn us not to go and have a look as we might find all kinds of things in the fermenting sauce, insects, lizards, rats – you name it, they had it! LOL!!!

I don’t think we bought those local ones for our own consumption at home. We had those made-in-China ones with a lot of gold coins on the label, probably the Narcissus brand until this mushroom soy…

…appeared on the scene and there has been no turning back since.

We liked it a whole lot more than the regular soy sauces – we thought it tasted nicer and it was not so salty. At that time, it was only 50 sen a bottle and I remember everytime we ran out, my mum would send me on my bicycle to the Sungai Bakong market (no longer there – demolished after it was burnt down in a fire) half a mile from our house at No. 96, Race Course Road to buy a bottle. These days, they are RM6.50 a bottle at one of my neighbourhood shops.

No, it is not made in Sibu. Don’t get the wrong idea from the brand – the Rejang River Bridge, named after the majestic Rejang River that flows past Sibu town, the longest in Malaysia. It is made in China and if I am not wrong, they import it in big drums and bottle it here…

…at their factory in Sungai Antu.

Usually, we would just buy one and use and buy again when it ran out but these days, with the pandemic and all of us #stayingsafe #stayingwell and #stayinghome, we would stock up on a few bottles at a time, just in case.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

10 thoughts on “Can’t live without you…”

  1. Yes, that is how I have my half boiled eggs, with soy sauce and sprinkle with some pepper. My Foochow DIL is using this Mushroom soy sauce too. I remember I used to buy our local made ones, Lau Teck Kee brand but unfortunately for some unknown reason I stop buying and change to Tong Nam brand. Camel brand soy sauce is abit too sweet for my liking. Most of the time, I only use soy sauce for my braised meat and sometimes for dipping.

    1. Don’t think I’ve heard of all the brands but I think I’ve tried Camel once – they say it is best for daging masak hitam. Went back to mushroom soy after that. Your Foochow DIL from Sibu? LOL!!!

      We do fry meat like chicken and other kinds of meat with soy sauce too. If chicken, add Bombay onions and potatoes – very nice and we cook tua thow hay and crabs…and chee loi (balitongs), all with soy sauce and ginger.

  2. Few soy sauce brands in the market, they almost of similar packaging and name. Now I am using Pearl River Bridge’s mushroom flavoured superior dark soy sauce. My man doesn’t like other brands other than this one.

    1. Pearl River certainly sounds a lot more Chinese than Rejang River. I’ve seen others too like Oya River but they’re all the same. Hah! Your hubby is a true blue Foochow from Central Sarawak, will settle for nothing less…like Irene’s Foochow DIL. LOL!!!

  3. Half boiled eggs are classic! I like mine more peppery.
    And the best pepper is from Sawarak, my cousin used to work in Kuching.
    She brought us some of the best white peppers from Sarawak.
    So aromatic and pungent.

    I cannot believe I still have not been to Borneo.
    Nor Kelantan and Perlis.

    1. I have not been to Kelantan and Terengganu, Perlis and Johore…and Labuan. Been to all the others. Most West Malaysians would rather fly abroad on holiday than come to Sarawak and Sabah. May be cheaper even to head to places like Thailand and Indonesia…and there’s probably a lot more “excitement” in those countries.

  4. I too use soy sauce and pepper for my half boiled eggs. I use a lot of soy sauce in my cooking too. There are many brands of soy sauce available here, both imported and local. I haven’t tried this Pearl River Bridge brand. Hope I remember to check this out the next time I go out for my grocery.

    1. Oh? A friend of mine loves his with Maggi seasoning. When I was visiting my brother in Auckland, he did not have any soy sauce and I could only get hold of Maggi seasoning at the supermarket. I didn’t like it. I guess these things need a little getting used to.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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